Tag Archives: words_and_language

An explanation of that magazine’s name

Because I was sure it would inevitably be mentioned, here is the explanation from the website about that magazine’s name:

For as long as we’ve been publishing B****, there’s one question that gets asked over and over. And over. “Why did you choose that word as the name of your magazine?” While we’re aware that our title is off-putting to some people, we think it’s worth it. And here’s why.

When it’s being used as an insult, “b****” is most often hurled at women who speak their minds, who have opinions and don’t shy away from expressing them. If being an outspoken woman means being a b****, we’ll take that as a compliment, thanks.

Furthermore, if we take it as a compliment, it loses its power to hurt us. And if we can get people thinking about what they’re saying when they use the word, that’s even better.

And, last but certainly not least, “b****” describes all at once who we are when we speak up, what it is we’re too worked up over to be quiet about, and the act of making ourselves heard.

Now for my quick two-cents: I’m not sure whether I necessarily agree full-heartedly that these sorts of negative words can be redeemed, but I have to agree the words seem to lose “its power to hurt us.” Maybe that’s not the case at all though, maybe it’s a sign that the agressor wins. The “N” word is another example, and there is heated disagreement about it between the younger and older generation. Is there a fully right answer one way or the other? I’m not sure.

I do know as a male, I’m not sure I’m really at liberty to enter my opinion into the conversation. If these women choose to use B**** as an empowering term, I’m not one to argue. Nor do I think that gives me any excuse not to listen.